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Trigger's Latest Shipment + Reviews 2

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Trigger's Latest Shipment + Reviews 2

Old 11-22-03, 11:50 AM
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Trigger's Latest Shipment + Reviews 2

New thread - new shipment. Reviews to come.

Love Correction
Good Times. Bed Times (US Version)
Dragon Loaded 2003 (US Version)
A Tale of Two Sisters
Shiver
Crazy First Love
Singles
My wife is a gangster 2
Wishing Stairs
Memory of Murder
Men Suddenly In Black

It's not as large an order, but the other thread was getting long. I can take requests from that shipment too. As usual - feel free to request reviews and I'll post them when I get to them. Memory of Murder isn't here yet, but it should be by early next week - I guess it shipped separate.
Old 11-23-03, 05:08 AM
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Ok - watched A Tale of Two Sisters tonight. Holy cow. What a brilliant film. It's a very slow-moving horror film that's very intense and evenly paced. You can bet this film will be remade by Hollywood at some point - I think they should release it as-is though. This review will be spoiler free, so read without worry... although I do welcome discussion about it with those who have seen it (but please use the spoiler tags) as I have some questions and theories myself.

It's difficult to tell you what it's about without spoiling anything, so I can't really tell you much about it. It all takes place in a somewhat creepy house for the most part. It opens with a girl arriving home along with her younger sister after recovering from some mysterious illness. The girl maintains contempt for her stepmother and has some apparent issues with her father who remains distant. Her unbreakable bond with her sister seems to be her only solace as she is still apparently mourning the loss of her mother. Then, of course, things start to get weird. The past is unravelled as the story progresses and just when things seem to start clearing up, the rules all change.

This is a first-class film... everything from the cinematography to the performances to the score to the special effects were all examples of perfection and inspiration. It was all so vivid and real. As slow and calculated as it clipped along, there was never a moment that I could take my eyes away from the screen.

The DVD presentation was top notch as well - beautiful picture and phenomenal DTS audio. The first disc contains a couple of commentaries and the trailer and there's even a second disc of extras - but as usual, I presume nothing is subtitled besides the film. I ought to check though before I just say so.

The film has some really good scares in it and there were many times that my skin would crawl or I would just get the chills because the film was farking with me. However, you should know that this isn't a typical horror film with lots of scares and jumps and gore... it moves very slow and is more along the lines of messing with your mind as a psychological drama. Overall, I give it a 9/10 and a HUGE . Highly recommended.

The film is not perfect though - I think it leaves a few questions without answers and at some times I think it just doesn't move along quite fast enough... It's still a must-have regardless.

(warning: spoiler)
Spoiler:
I think the reveal took a little too long. Like perhaps they should've started the reveal a bit later. The first big reveal happened at the right moment I guess, but then it kinda took too long to get to the rest of it. Still - it was pretty damn effective. Obviously this will be compared to Sixth Sense - but you can't tell people that without spoiling it for people. Damn. I even kinda think her red sweater was a bit of a nod to that film. Anyway - I have a question - she was the stepmom in certain key scenes - so was the stepmom actually living with them or what? What was actually going on behind her hallucinations? I'm going to have to watch it again, but does anyone else kinda feel like they left some questions unanswered or that some of the scenarios don't work after the reveal?
Old 11-23-03, 08:45 AM
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Someone recommended this (Men Suddenly In Black) to me, pls review when you get a chance.
Old 11-23-03, 12:58 PM
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It seems like almost everyone is liking Tale of Two Sisters. I really want to get, but I also really need to get paid first. As soon as I get some money though, I'm grabbing it.

BTW, how's Dragon Loaded 2003, when you get around to it?
Old 11-23-03, 03:41 PM
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...ahh... A TALE OF TWO SISTERS... ahh...

. . . . . .
Old 11-24-03, 01:37 AM
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what was that link supposed to be?
Old 11-24-03, 01:42 AM
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A Tale of Two Sisters:

Warning....this is VERY long. I've thought long about this.

Spoiler:
Here's my theory. Keep in mind that this is after immediately skimming through the movie again the first night of watching it, then watching it again a few nights later with some friends.

The step-mom for most of the movie is not real, but rather part of Su-mi's pschyzophrenia. Su-mi is basically split in two, one side being the real Su-mi and the other being the step-mom. In Su-mi's mind she and the step-mom are equally responsible for Su-Yeon's death, and the incredible guilt results in her "becoming" both of them.

The step-mother's first true appearance in the movie is near the end, when she enters the house and confronts Su-mi in that cool camera-whirlwind-switcheroo. Up until then, Su-mi had been role-playing the step-mom. A split personality thing. When the step-mom talks, it's Su-mi. So when the two are arguing, it's just Su-mi yelling a one-sided conversation. This is why her father pauses while shaving, turns off the water, and listens with a concerned look on his face as Su-mi and the step-mom are having it out in the kitchen. Because he's hearing his daughter speaking both sides of the conversation. If you notice, at the first dinner Su-mi doesn't say anything until her father has left the table. It's the step-mom doing the talking. When he leaves, the step-mom turns to Su-mi and grills her. Seconds later the father returns, the step-mom nervously pauses the conversation, and he sets 2 pills on the table. These are actually for Su-mi, as again, he heard her talking to herself when he had left the room and the pills are presumably anti-psychosis medication. This is also why Su-mi (not to mention Su-yeon) is not at the dinner table when the Uncle and Aunt visit. Because she's role-playing the step-mom, so although it IS actually Su-mi, we the audience see the step-mom.

Su-yeon, on the other hand, is most likely a ghost. I mean, she IS THE ghost in the film, but not just the icky decaying one that the Aunt sees under the sink and the step-mom is confronted by at the end. She's Su-mi's companion while she's in the house. At first I assumed she was another of Su-mi's personalities, and she certainly could be, but I think a crucial point to make is that Su-yeon never speaks when the father around. Granted, she doesn't speak much at all anyway, but when she does it's when she's alone with Su-mi. Since Su-mi has no problem role-playing the step-mom around her father, I'd assume she wouldn't hold back from speaking as her sister as well. But she doesn't, so this leads me to believe that when Su-mi sees Su-yeon, she's a ghost. I ALSO think that Su-yeon doesn't realize she's a ghost, Sixth Sense-style. Which is why, when it's revealed she's dead, not only does she freak out, but the movie image itself starts to freak out, shaking, as if reality were snapping back into place. Su-mi then does not see Su-yeon again for the rest of the film because Su-yeon's denial of her incorporeal existence has been pulled away.

Orrrr, another possibility, Su-Mi simply hallucinates her sister as being there for most of the movie, which is not to say she's a seperate personality but just a non-existent character which Su-Mi's fragmented mind creates to help her cope. However, under the rules the movie seems to set up, I believe Su-Yeon wouldn't be as completely silent as she is around the father if she were just a hallucination. I mean, why would there be a need to? Since Su-Mi is imagining the sister, she'd probably imagine her interacting with the father as well. But as a ghost, she'd have no control over Su-Yeon and wouldn't necessarily notice that she wasn't interacting.

The flashbacks: The sisters' mother was sick, presumably mentally, and the step-mom was a live-in nurse. She took care of the mother and the daughters when the husband was away. She was also having an affair with the father. Whether this was before or after she moved in is unclear. So the daughters know this (evidenced by Su-mi's accusatory "If you're looking for my dad, he's not here" after the step-mom is caught in the hallway after witnessing Su-yeon's accident). The mother presumably knows about the infidelity going on right under her nose, which causes her to commit suicide. She goes to Su-yeon's room, who she probably had the greatest connection to, comforts Su-yeon, then when she falls asleep the mother overdoses on pills then hangs herself in Su-yeon's closet. Su-Yeon wakes up, senses something is wrong, opens the closet door, sees her dead mother, freaks out and attempts to pull her mother's corpse down, which brings the entire closet down on Su-Yeon. The step-mom hears something (while Su-mi does not, which is a crucial point), investigates, sees what happened, freaks out, runs out in a panic, stops halfway and apparently decides to go back and help, only to be stopped by Su-mi, who has come out of her room and immediately goes into attack mode with the step-mom. She hints at her and the father's indiscretions, which upsets the step-mom who tells her that she'd better stop or she'll regret it for the rest of her life. Su-mi keeps going with the venom, and as vengeance the step-mom decides to let Su-yeon die. This IS something Su-mi will regret for the rest of her life, and in fact it's the whole reason for her going insane.

After a stay in a mental institute, the father attempts to adapt her back into society and takes her back to their old summer home. This results in the manifestation of Su-yeon, whose ghost is still "trapped" in the house since her death was an unnatural one. This also results in Su-mi's roleplaying of the step-mom, since she blames herself just as much as she blames the step-mom for Su-yeon's death. This is the reason for the whole scene where the step-mom is shutting Su-yeon in the closet. I don't believe this ever actually happened. Rather, I believe this symbolizes Su-Yeon's death. The closet DID cause Su-Yeon's death, the step-mom refused to "let her out" of the closet (help get her free from underneath). Su-mi blames the step-mom on Su-Yeon's death since she didn't help her, which manifests itself as the step-mom shutting her in the closet. And just as Su-mi didn't hear Su-yeon's cries for help underneath the closet during "the incident", she also doesn't hear her cries during the recreation. I found it odd that Su-mi wouldn't hear such a ruckus, but that's the point. It's not really happening, it's a figment of her imagination, so it's a bit exaggerated to drive home the fact that Su-mi blames herself for not hearing Su-Yeon during The Incident and then blowing off the step-mom who could've prevented Su-Yeon's death.

There is still speculation over whether the mother was long dead when Su-Yeon died, that Su-Yeon saw her mother's ghost in the closet. But this doesn't make sense to me. First, why would the mother manifest herself in the closet and cause the death of her daughter? And why would Su-mi snidely inform the step-mom that her dad was not upstairs when she saw her walking by? The step-mom seemed stunned when Su-mi says this, like she's surprised Su-mi knows about her and the father, which wouldn't really make sense if the step-mom had already been living there.

As for the ghost of the mother which appears during Su-mi's waking nightmare....I believe this is just another of Su-mi's guilt-wracked imaginings, this time as a nightmare. The mother died in the house, so Su-mi's guilt takes on a new twist when she imagines the mother coming for her since (in her mind) she killed her younger daughter. Again, this is not the mother's ghost seeking vengeance. This is Su-mi's warped mind imagining her mother hating her for "killing" Su-Yeon and coming for her. Not that she realizes this at the time.

The phone calls the father makes throughout the movie are all to the actual step-mom, who is staying away from the house in the hopes that it won't complicate things for Su-mi. When he realizes Su-Mi thinks Su-Yeon is still alive, it's too much for him to handle alone. He finally asks for her to come and help take her back to the hospital.

The Uncle and Aunt visit. This one is pure speculation on my part (not that all of this isn't, but I'm reasonably sure of the previous statements....with this one, I'm winging it). The aunt starts to choke and falls to the ground, slapping her hands on the tile as she writhes. This is eerily similar to the way Su-yeon dies (especially the hands smacking the floor as she struggles). By being on the floor and straining her head back as she attempts to breathe, she's able to see Su-Yeon's ghost under the sink. I'm not sure Su-Yeon was causing this since she would have no reason to harm the Aunt, not to mention at this point in the movie (under my theory) she doesn't realize she's a ghost. So I'm chalking it up to simple supernatural occurence (the Aunt experiencing Su-Yeon's death).

The last 1/3 of the movie. After Su-Mi realizes Su-Yeon is dead, her already fragmented reality starts to spiral away from her. She stuffs some of Su-Yeon's dolls in a bag and beats on it, while imagining the step-mom doing the same to Su-Yeon. She imagines the step-mom and her having a big fight, ending in the step-mom dragging her bloodied body down the hallway leaving a trail of blood....but of course, it was her alone doing it all, and when she wakes up on the ground and sees the blood disappear from the floor, that's an indication it was imagined. Same with the statue....she herself lifted it up and smashed it to the ground and fell unconscious amidst the rubble. It didn't even touch her, which again is evidenced by the fact that when her father finds her she is mostly unharmed.


As for the ending...the step-mom's death is presented as a supernatural occurence. The ghost of Su-Yeon wreaks vengeance upon the step-mom. But I don't think this is the case. I believe this is another of Su-mi's imaginings, similar to the Su-Yeon and step-mom fight. Two reasons for this. One is that, if Su-Mi can be assigned any blame, then why wouldn't the ghost be after her too. But more importantly, this all occurs while Su-Mi is in the mental ward for the second time. In fact, right after the step-mom meets her end, the movie cuts to a tear running down Su-Mi's cheek as she lies asleep in bed. This leads me to believe it's Su-Mi coming to terms with the incident, the step-mom's imagined death at the hands of Su-Yeon symbolizing an inner peace Su-Mi has now acquired.

I'd argue that Su-Mi had no real relationship with her mother, that Su-Yeon was the favored sibling, which is why the mother barely plays a part in the movie's happenings. But then again, maybe it was the double loss of both the mother and Su-Yeon which really pushed her over the edge.

So yeahhhhh...that's what I think. A movie like this is obviously open to much interpretation, and I certainly don't claim to have all the answers. But after several views and much deliberation, this is what I've come up with. The only aspect's I'm not really 100% on are what Su-Yeon actually is, the reason for the Aunt's attack, and whether the step-mom is actually killed by Su-Yeon's ghost at the end. The rest I'm pretty confident on. I do wish I could understand the commentary, not to mention the deleted scenes. I'm sure that would shed some light on things.


Yikes, that's one big chunk of spoiler!
Old 11-24-03, 03:55 AM
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Spoiler:
I'd like to know what the note said that was slipped under the door. I watched it again tonight and came to more or less the same conclusions that you did... with a few exceptions... There was alot that I didn't catch on the first run - the signifigance of the phone calls the father was making for example. I'm all straight on the basics though.

I don't think there was ANY supernatural things going on at all. Su-Mi hallucinated 100% of it all because she was loco. If you'll notice, they show her getting out of the car with her sister in the beginning and in the end, they show the same scene, but the sister isn't there. That indicates the sister was just in her head. I also think that the sister wasn't just in her head - she also played the part of her sister when it suited her. All 3 of them together at dinner or the two sisters in bed or the stepmom and Su-Mi talking to each other - all of it was her playing all parts. That's why in the beginning there were things already done and she was going to do them again.

One thing I found interesting was that she had alot of contempt for the stepmom - so much so that she would even become the stepmother every single time the pills were offered to her, not to mention all the other awful things she did as her stepmother.

I don't think the stepmom died... I didn't see it happen - they just showed some creepy scene and that was that. I don't even know if it actually happened or if someone imagined it. Also strange is the Aunt/Uncle dinner visit. Funny how the stepmom's stories sounded so child-like and made-up... anyway - the dinner visit didn't make sense unless Su-Mi imagined the seizure to break the uncomfortable silence caused by her lame story. She was screaming too loud to be choking and why would she need pills in order to barf? It was just weird.


I'm too tired right now to go through your post point by point right now - maybe later. I think we see eye to eye on most of it though and I'm sure I could make my point better if I was rested.
Old 11-24-03, 08:36 AM
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Spoiler:

I'm still wavering about the Truth About Su-Yeon. But one of the things that clinched it for me, the proof that she is haunting the place, is the fact that the Aunt saw her under the sink. And not just during the dinner, but afterwards, on the ride home, she mentioned to her husband that she saw someone. It'd be a bit much too assume that this was also in Su-Mi's mind, considering that this was an omniscient view-point with Su-Mi nowhere around. But yeah, who knows for sure?

Plus, the fact that Su-Yeon stays quiet when the father is around seems more than just coincidence....if she were Su-Mi's imaginings, then there'd be no problem in Su-Mi roleplaying her too. But she never has to, because Su-Yeon's presence in the room is always in the background.

As for the note, I read on some message board that it said something simple like "I'll be back later. Stay inside. Father." So just a note explaining why the dad wasn't around I think.

Again, it's all open for interpretation. We need someone Korean to go through all the extras and clarify some stuff.
Old 11-24-03, 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by Trigger
what was that link supposed to be?
...when I last looked, it was a review of the movie... sorry 'bout that!...

...now try this link... and this one, too...

. . . . . .

Last edited by Hendrik; 11-24-03 at 10:20 AM.
Old 11-24-03, 06:11 PM
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Just got my Tale of Two Sisters dvd today!!! Can't wait to watch it.
Old 11-25-03, 05:30 AM
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2 quickie mini-reviews...

My Wife is a Gangster 2

Hmm... it was pretty much average. I think I agree with most of the reviews out there - this one had a few laughs, and it was interesting to follow the story of this character (and a few others who return from the first), but overall it was just kinda blah. The fight scenes were boring and poorly done. The story was just that she lost her memory and spent 2 years delivering food. The Husband (who is the only one who can actually claim that his wife is indeed a gangster) is nowhere to be found here... Zhang Ziyi makes an appearance, but who cares? not I. Will there be a part 3? Who cares... if there is, I probably won't watch it. Eh - maybe I will.

This one just wasn't great. The DVD was nice and all though. I give it a 6/10. It's totally watchable, but disappointing at the same time. Seeing as how it follows a great flick, it really doesn't do justice to it.

Wishing Stairs

Don't be fooled... the box looks all too similar to Tale of Two Sisters, but this is nothing close to that. This film is part of a series - I think it's part 3 - of movies that deal with school girls and ghosts. There seems to be a trend in Korean cinema to do the whole lesbian schoolgirl thing - but it's not sexual, it's all emotional ties and whatnot.

The film centers around students at some school for the arts - or else it just centers around the kids who are into the arts - and these two girls who are best friends and ballerinas competing for an audition that could land one of them in a prestigious school. Meanwhile, there is a fat girl who is an outcast and is tormented by everyone. Among all this, there is the Wishing Stairs - the steps going up to the school. There are 28 steps, but the legend goes that if you close your eyes and count the steps off one by one and end up at the top and the 29th step appears, some fox will grant you a wish. The story takes its sweet time to get going as there are alot of characters to introduce and 'get to know'. The scares don't even begin to come until the second half of the film or later. By that time, the mood of the film has been set and it is more of a drama at first - it's a little jolting in the transition, so the scares start off as being corny to the viewer at first. The film does have some good scary and creepy moments in it - but nothing you haven't seen before.

Spoiler:
how many times are they gonna exploit the asian girl with long hair over her face crawling along the ground in a creepy way towards the camera and/or victim?


Overall, it manages to be just average - not a complete waste of time, but not a must have either. 6/10 from me since it seemed to redeem itself in the third act.
Old 11-26-03, 09:15 AM
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Oh man, I am dying to see Tale of Two Sisters, those giant spoiler conversations are killing me!
Old 11-26-03, 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by malkmuz
Oh man, I am dying to see Tale of Two Sisters, those giant spoiler conversations are killing me!
Me too! Thing is I've had it for about two weeks but haven't had the time to watch it yet. Darn Two Towers extras take forever to watch.
Old 11-27-03, 05:17 AM
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Memories of Murder

*sigh* Where to begin?... Well, it's based on real events from the mid 80s AFAIK. It's about some police in the boonies trying to solve a serial killer case. The killer murders and rapes his young female victims and leaves them to be found in the fields. The scenery is nice to look at if you're into fields and stuff. Patterns start to emerge and another investigator from Seoul is sent down to help the locals with the investigation. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll leave it at that.

I guess as a film, it's fairly well made. Good acting and cinematography and whatnot. The pacing is fine - there's elements of comedy thrown in every once in awhile to break up the tension. I guess my problem is that the ending was pretty weak and there was never any payoff. They also left some loose threads floating around. Overall, it was fairly entertaining if not a tad long. I have to give this one a 7/10 or a really high 6. I can recommend it, but only mildly - it's certainly not a must own I don't think.

It's kinda like some Tom Hanks movie where he's a cop some couple decades ago and he's slowly and incompetently trying to solve the case of the missing girls. It'll get good reviews, but when you go to the theater to see it, you're left feeling kinda blah about it. I prefer a movie that's really gonna mess me up somehow... I like movies that are smart enough to play with my mind or else evoke a strong emotion out of me. If a movie fails to do any of those things, it'll never get above a 7.
Old 11-30-03, 12:43 AM
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First of all thanks, Trigger, for your prodigious appetite for Korean films and your excellent reviews. Its great to see discussion of these films.

I really enjoyed Memories of Murder. The performances were top-notch across the board and the filmmakers really seemed to take lots of care in the details, which I appreciated. I especially liked the fact that there was no "resolution". It made the movie more haunting and powerful in my opinion. Yes, there were a couple of things that I didn't care too much for (not so invisible use of CGI, some arguably weak plot contrivances for example) but my complaints were very minor and didn't take much away from my overall enjoyment of what I thought was a great film.

On the other hand, I did not like A Tale of Two Sisters that much. I just thought it was a bit too derivative. I think Asian horror flicks rely too much on the same "girl with long hair" scares. The psychological twists were interesting, but those too have been explored in other films.

Park Chan-Hook's Old Boy is next on my list of Korean movies to look out for. Anyone know when its scheduled for DVD release?

thunnus
-----
Old 11-30-03, 03:57 AM
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Differing opinions are more than welcome in these threads... my reviews are by no means the final word on whether these films are good or bad.

Tale of Two Sisters I thought was brilliant in what it was meant to do... sure, some of it has been done before, but not all of it in one film. All movies have elements that have been done before - it's unavoidable. It's how the story is told that makes a difference. Two Sisters just did it so well - I agree though that I'm tired of the 'girl with long hair' scenario... thankfully that's not the highlight of this film like it was with the Ring.

I liked Memories of Murder - I just didn't love it. It was well made and it was good and all that, but it just didn't really particularly grab me in any way... not like Two Sisters did. I don't need to see it again really. Two Sisters is one that warrants at least a second viewing.

In my reviews, I do my best to remain impartial and convey whether or not a film was well-made rather than just say how I felt about it personally. I know some people read these reviews to get that perspective... lots of people don't have the same taste as I do, but maybe they can use these reviews to gague whether or not they'll like whatever film I'm talking about. So hopefully I had conveyed that Memories was a well-crafted film, but in my opinion - I just found Memories to be good, but forgettable.
Old 12-01-03, 02:57 PM
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Korean Film Awards

Best Lighting: A Tale Of Two Sisters
Best Music: The Classic
Best Cinematography: Memories Of Murder
Best Screenplay: Memories Of Murder
Best FX: Wonderful Days
Best Short: Bread And Milk
Best New Actor: Park Hae-il for Jealousy Is My Middle Name
Best New Actress: Lim Su-jeong for Tale Of Two Sisters
Best New Director: Jang Jun-hwa for Save The Green Planet
Best Supporting Actor: Baek Yun-shik for Save the Green Planet
Best Supporting Actress: Yun Yeo-jeong for A Good Lawyer's Wife
Best Actor: Song Kang-ho for Memories Of Murder
Best Actress: Mun So-ri for A Good Lawyer's Wife
Best Director: Bong Jun-ho for Memories Of Murder
Best Film: Memories of Murder

Can't wait to see Memories of Murder.
Old 01-28-04, 03:31 AM
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I got a new shipment in today... I'll just post reviews as I watch them.

Tonight I watched Natural City - sci-fi epic from Korea. Wow. This is something of a puzzler... How can a movie start out so good and wind up so bad? Basically, this movie is a living Anime. There's lots of CG and convoluted plot and simple characters. Think Blade Runner meets Cherry 2000. In the future, there are cyborgs that look at act like real people - serving all sorts of purposes from sex robots to soldiers. Been there, done that - sure - but they really did a wonderful job of presenting it all. Anyway, after 3 years, the cyborgs 'expire' and have to be 'recycled'. Their memory chips can bring a hefty sum on the black market. Occasionally, cyborgs will go haywire and the cops have to hunt them down and destroy them. Our anti-hero is a cop who has fallen in love with a cyborg who is on her last few days before expiration. He walks a fine line between depression and desparation as he watches her decay and then discovers that there's a chance she can be given new life.

This film is beautiful and has amazing effects. The first 2/3 of the movie are spectacular... the third act is a travesty. I don't know what I would change about the ending, I think the failure of the ending was built into the film from the beginning - you just can't see it coming. I'd say the first two thirds of the movie are worth a 9/10... overall though, I have to give this a 7/10. It still gets a from me, but be prepared for a third act meltdown.

The DVD comes in a standard Amaray case that holds 2 discs (one in an insert tray) and a tin silpcover (like Terminator). There's a DTS track and a 5.1 track. The subtitles are pretty good, but not perfect. I'm pretty sure it's an anamorphic transfer although I haven't stuck it in my PC to check. It might have been my Malata, but alot of the time the film seemed a little choppy - I couldn't tell whether it was an artistic choice (to make it look more cyborg-y) or a DVD mastering error or just my player acting up. It wasn't very distracting to me and if it was artistic, it kinda worked. I know I'm alot less picky than some people on this forum though, so I figured I'd give a heads up anyway. The second disc is gonna have extras - presumably not subtitled... I'd say it's a nice set in any case.

The movie has mindblowing special effects and some great action. If it could've kept up the pace the entire time, it would've earned a 9 or a 10. As it is, it's still probably a solid purchase for anyone who is interested from the trailer. If you haven't heard of it, check out the trailer on www.asiandb.com and see if it looks like something you would like. I'm sure I'll be watching it again cuz it's the kind of movie you would want to show to a friend to blow their mind a little bit. If you're a fan of Blade Runner, you ought to check it out.

______________________

I also watched a few others I haven't reviewed yet...

Men Suddenly In Black - HK Comedy.

This was quite an innovative idea - it's a comedy played almost totally straight and filmed as a HK action movie. It's about 4 guys who send their wives and girlfriends off on a vacation so they can cheat on them. I thought it was quite hilarious and clever. I think I'd give it a 7.5/10. It's an easy .

Singles - Korean comedy

Bleh... kinda dull and not very funny. I don't remember it hardly, so I can't really give much of a review - I will say that if you avoid it you're not missing anything, but if you get it - it's not the worst film ever.
Old 01-28-04, 07:57 AM
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Thanks for taking time to put up new reviews Trigger!
Old 01-28-04, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for these, Trigger.

With Tale of Two Sisters, did you purchase the Korean or HK edition? It appears the Korean is a lovely two disc package, but no subtitles for the extras.

Also, apparently the HK subtitles signs and notes etc, but the Korean doesn't.

While the collector in me lusts after the Korean edition, common sense pushes toward the HK edition.

Comments, please?
Old 01-28-04, 08:56 AM
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Originally posted by Bleddyn Williams
Thanks for these, Trigger.

With Tale of Two Sisters, did you purchase the Korean or HK edition? It appears the Korean is a lovely two disc package, but no subtitles for the extras.

Also, apparently the HK subtitles signs and notes etc, but the Korean doesn't.

While the collector in me lusts after the Korean edition, common sense pushes toward the HK edition.

Comments, please?
I got the 2-disc Korean release and it is nice, but without English subtitles on the extras, it hasn't gotten a lot of mileage with me. It comes with a film cell card which is nice but bulky - it's packaged on the outside of the 2-disc box (cardboard case in cardboard slipcover) and barely fits in the inside pocket when in the slipcover.

I can't comment on the HK version, but I can say the Korean version doesn't translate notes in the film. There's a point specifically where there's a written note but I had no idea what it said, and it seemed like it was kinda crucial to understanding where the film was going. I still enjoyed the movie though, it just kinda lent itself to the mystery of the film in general.

Nice to have you back Trigger - I was wondering where you were after the holidays.

Jeremy
Old 01-28-04, 10:40 AM
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I think I will have to check out A Tale of Two Sisters. I have enjoyed what little I have seen of asian cinema so far.
Not sure if this is the right place to ask but has anyone see the Ring TV series?
Old 01-28-04, 12:09 PM
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Re: A TALE OF TWO SISTERS DVD releases

Here are the major differences between the MetroDVD r3k (Korean 2-disc release) and Panorama r3hk (Hong Kong 1-disc release):

Packaging:
r3k: gateway packaging that folds into a cardboard slipcase; initial releases have film strip included
r3hk: typical amaray case that slides into a cardboard slipcase with identical cover art

Extras:
r3k: Commentary tracks on the first disc; second disc is all extras, including interviews, making-of, music video, deleted scenes, etc.
r3hk: None!

Transfer:
r3k: 16x9 enhanced with proper 3:2 pulldown
r3hk: 16x9 enhanced, not properly flagged for 3:2 pulldown
(but otherwise the transfers look exactly alike in all other aspects)

Audio:
r3k: DTS-ES and DD 5.1 EX, plus commentary tracks
r3hk: DTS and DD 5.1

Subtitles:
r3k: Does not translate on-screen text, including notes and staff credits. Subtitles are fat and readable.
r3hk: On-screen text is translated. Subtitles are thin and readable.
(P.S.: the letter that is not subtitled in the r3k is not integral to the story)

Conclusion: If you are a fan of the film you will want to get the MetroDVD r3k since it is a more complete package for only a few dollars more than the Panorama r3hk release. Otherwise, the Hong Kong disc is fine.
Old 01-28-04, 12:31 PM
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Wow, thanks for the Two Sisters feedback folk - exactly what I wanted to know!

I have a 53" HDTV with a progressive scan DVD player - will the HK's lack of proper 3:2 pulldown show? Will the HK show artifacts like combing? I'd probably rather pay the extra for a nice package with a clean image (but extras I can't use) than save a few bucks and see artifacts on the image.

Thanks again.

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